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Eight Traits of a Killer Web Marketing Article

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A guest blog post by Andy Crestodina of Orbit Media Studios.

What makes a good web marketing article? This post provides ideas for crafting online articles and offers easy-to-implement tips on how to maximize their marketing impact.

Rather than just describing best practices for a web marketing article, let’s demonstrate them all in a self-referential post. It’s so meta! Here are eight reasons why this is a good web marketing article.

1. This article is optimized for search engines
Before I started writing, I looked at Google Keyword Tool and discovered that 320 people search for “web marketing article” each month. So, I decided to do a little SEO copywriting and to include the phrase once in the title, once in the URL, and several times in the body of the article.

It’s kind of a competitive phrase, but why not give it a shot? It doesn’t take long. So this article is search-optimized.

2. This article has an image
Articles with images are more likely to be shared, so I’m putting in an image. You can see it in this post.

Articles with images look good, partly because when they’re shared in social networks (Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, etc.) a thumbnail of the image appears.

3. This article mentions other people and blogs
If you mention people in your posts, you might get their attention, and they just might share it through their networks. Copyblogger actually gives three reasons for this: credibility, promotion, and networking.

Simply put, one of the fastest ways to grow a new blog is to mention other sites with big audiences in your guest post appearances.

If you drop a handy email or tweet before the guest post goes live, you can harness the sheer awesomeness of their contact lists. Most of the time, they will at least tweet out your guest post and thus associate themselves with your content.

So mention a big blog and let them know about the post... just like that!

4. This article has lots of formatting
A web marketing article should have plenty of formatting, making it scan-able for visitors. Formatting makes articles much easier for visitors to read and a bit easier for search engines to rank. This article uses:



  • Headers and subheaders


  • Short paragraphs


  • Bulleted lists


5. This article links to another page or post
A good web marketer always looks for opportunities for internal linking. These links are an important part of a web strategy. This is a good web marketing article partly because of the links. A link is good for two reasons.


  • A link tells Google that the page you're linking to is relevant for the phrase within the link.


  • A link guides visitors from one page to the next through a “conversion funnel.” Links pull a visitor deeper into the site, toward a contact form, where the visitor may become a lead.


6. This article doesn’t take itself too seriously
If this article did take itself very seriously, it wouldn’t have been much fun to write, and it probably would be no fun to read. This is web marketing, not a bone marrow transplant.

7. This article is well-written
The content is succinct and well-organized. Implementing all the digital tricks and tools to extend reach is pointless if the content is not relevant, readable, insightful, and interesting. Don’t be too glib, but don’t be afraid to let your personality show.

8. This article has a call to action for comments
Here goes: If you can think of anything to add to this list of traits, I would love to hear suggestions. Feel free to leave a comment below. I’m always learning and interested in any feedback.

(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Comical Boy)

Andy Crestodina is the strategic director of Orbit Media, a web development company in Chicago. You can find Andy on and Twitter.


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Comments

  • by Jason Keath Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    This article has no screenshots or references to Klout.

  • by Ann Handley Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    Fun piece, Andy. I'm tempted to change the headline to: "8 Ways This Article Is Amazing, Starting with This Arresting Headline." (LOL!)

  • by Lisa Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    Fun!

  • by Julie Musial Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    Nice article. A couple additions I would make is first under formatting, be sure to use some features like bold print on your keyword, underline your keyword, put your keyword in italics. You can also make three different types of paragraphs. (header 1) (header 2) and (header 3). All of these help the search engines to find you. Underlining your keyword in the last sentence will also help.

  • by Wayne Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    I have found that an uneven number of list items (3, 5, 7) attracts more readers.

  • by Michael O'Daniel Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    Many of the same principles could be usefully applied to any sort of marketing copy displayed on the web, as well as online learning courses. I'm sure readers here will think of others...

  • by Mio Ristic Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    One BIG omission:
    "This article has a video."

  • by Gary Bembridge Thu Apr 12, 2012 via blog

    Thanks for this article. Great advice and tips. Very helpful timing as I have been looking at how to rework and revamp my blog and articles I write. This forms a great framework!

  • by Donna Queza Fri Apr 13, 2012 via blog

    One thing I would add is that this article has one-click share-ability. I go to a lot of blogs where I have to search for a way to share with my social media buddies. Or *gasp* I'm forced to copy and paste the link myself. Otherwise, loved all of the tips!

  • by Daniel Frank Tue Apr 24, 2012 via blog

    There two things I would add. The first is that if at all possible the image will actually illustrate a point about the article, and will include the keyword in the alt text. Aside from that it's a great list!

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